Inspired by an observation by extreme runner Kilian Jornet (who recently scaled Everest twice in one day) that athletes have to adapt themselves to their shoes, rather than the other way around, outdoor brand Salomon decided to launch an innovative new product to answer his needs, and those of every runner.
The brand started by putting together a team of engineers, designers and athletes to think the problem over and revolutionize the way running shoes are designed and manufactured.
In all, the team devoted twelve years of work and R&D to creating S/LAB ME:sh: a new species of running shoes based on the unique nature of any athlete (the anatomy of their foot, their biomechanics - their manner of running and moving), as well as the terrain, usage, objectives, look and feel.
For the launch of S/LAB ME:sh, Kinship wanted to demonstrate how far the shoe pushes the limits of adaptability to the runner’s needs, and built a ME:sh for the first runner: Lucy the Australopithecus.
More than just a new shoe, the S/LAB ME:sh is a technology that can adapt a shoe to each and every runner’s needs, much more so than the ultra-personalization processes with which we are familiar today. The choice of Lucy was both a “torture test” for this technology, and a way of illustrating the fitting and fabrication process in a captivating example.
This process was documented in a short documentary film, by the brand and its agency Kinship:
With Lucy’s ME:sh, Salomon and Kinship proved that it’s possible to create a shoe that fits any athlete, from the first to Kilian Jornet. More than just an extreme example, Lucy’s ME:sh is an homage to evolution: that of how our body was designed and developed for running, generation after generation; and that of S/LAB ME:sh and its process, which creates the possibility to manufacture a shoe anywhere, even in just a few minutes in the back of a van, for a particular terrain, for particular conditions, and for a particular person.
This spirit of innovation and collaboration extends beyond the simple creation of Lucy’s own ME:sh and the film retracing its creation. Kinship also redesigned the “Fab Lab” (the S/LAB ME:sh production unit in Annecy, France), which welcomes distributors and runners alike each day, to redefine the consumer experience in all its transparency.
The global communication campaign started with a teasing on the brand’s social networks in May and the product launched in early June. The first part of the media plan rolled out on Facebook and Instagram through purchased media and on Salomon’s official YouTube page, and the second leg of the campaign began on Facebook this October.